Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 7/5/13
ST. LOUIS - The standings suggest the Cardinals (50-34) are enjoying a great season while the Marlins (32-52) are enduring the anticipated falloff of an off-season fire sale. But you should ignore the standings when the teams meet at Busch Stadium on Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Marlins are playing like contenders while the Cardinals are suffering through their worst stretch of the season. Miami has won five of its past six series, a run that started with beating St. Louis two of three in mid-June. The Cardinals have won only one of their past five series and are coming off a heart-crushing 6-5 loss in Anaheim Thursday night that was lowlighted by Edward Mujica's first blown save opportunity of the season. Since May 31, the Marlins own the best record in the majors, 19-11. The Cardinals have gone 15-16 over the same stretch. Getting healthy has been one key to Miami's turnaround. Sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison returned from injuries in early June to give a lift to what could have been mistaken for a minor-league lineup. Stanton has hit five homers in 22 games since he came back from a hamstring injury; Morrison is hitting .328.418.569 in 17 games since the start of his season was delayed while he recovered from right knee surgery. Young pitching has been an even bigger factor in the Marlins' improvement, and the Cardinals will get a heavy dose of those strong arms this weekend. The Marlins will start a trio of 23-and-under right-handers that come armed with 95 mph fastballs and rising confidence based on their recent performances. Jacob Turner, a Westminster Academy product, is coming off the first complete game of his young career, a 7-1 victory over the Padres. Turner, 22, endured a dismal spring training and started the season in the minors. But in six starts since his callup, he has fashioned a 1.76 ERA while working five quality starts. Turner has started against the Cardinals once, giving up one run in five innings last June before he had been traded by the Tigers. Saturday starter Nathan Eovaldi, 23, missed the first 2 12 months because of shoulder woes but has made three strong starts since coming off the disabled list. Eovaldi was acquired last July in the deal that sent Hanley Ramirez and now-Cardinals reliever Randy Choate to the Dodgers. The best of the bunch, Jose Fernandez, is scheduled to start Sunday. Fernandez, 20, was expected to start the season in the minors but surprisingly was added to the roster late in spring training. He has rewarded the Marlins for believing he was ready. Fernandez is 5-4 with a 2.72 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .193 average, third lowest among N.L. starters. He struck out 10 and held the Cardinals to two runs over seven innings in a 5-4 victory in Miami last month. After playing on the West Coast Thursday night, the Cardinals called off batting practice and were given a late reporting time for Friday's game. You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Actually, Josh Gordon will become an exclusive rights free agent

Lindsey Vonn shares pic showing skis burned out on bronze medal run

NBA planning preseason game in Seattle

Jon Gruden challenges Marshawn Lynch: 'We need the real deal'

Mike Mayock is off his rocker comparing Baker Mayfield to Johnny Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Gregg Popovich does not expect Kawhi Leonard to return this season

NBA scouts still backing Trae Young despite slump

Rick Pitino: NCAA ruling to remove championship 'unjust'

LeBron James not a fan of NBA altering playoff format

Cuban takes blame for ‘horrible mistake’ not firing Sneed sooner

Louisville website selling shirts with Kevin Ware’s ‘rings’ quote

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

25 best MLB players under 25

A.J. McCarron might be the best consolation prize in free agency

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

Offseason needs for every NFL team

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top 30 NFL free agents

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

Offseason needs for every NFL team

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

The 'All muscle hamsters go to heaven' quiz

A.J. McCarron might be the best consolation prize in free agency

The 'James gang walks away with a win' quiz

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker